REVIEW: Killers (2014)

killers

japan-iconIndonesia-icon

2014, Nikkatsu/Guerilla Merah/Merantau Films/Damn Inc./Media Prima Productions/Million Pictures/Holy Bastards/Point Set Corp./Django Films/XYZ Films

Directors:
The Mo Brothers
Producers:
Yoshinori Chiba
Kimo Stamboel
Shinjiro Nishimura
Takuji Ushiyama
Timo Tjahjanto
Writers:
Takuji Ushiyama
Timo Tjahjanto
Cinematography:
Gunnar Nimpuno
Editing:
Arifin Marhan Japri

Cast:
Kazuya Kitamura (Shuhei Nomura)
Oka Ankara (Bayu Aditya)
Rin Takanashi (Misae Kawahara)
Luna Maya (Dina Aditya)
Ray Sahetapy (Dharma)
Ersya Aurelia (Elly Aditya)
Mei Kurokawa (Midori)
Steve Jean (Ahmad)

A psychological bond between two serial killers from opposite sides of Asia soon becomes one of the deadliest cat-and-mouse games between the two in this brutal film from the Mo Brothers.

Japanese executive Shuhei Nomura has a dark and deadly secret that no one knows. He is a deadly serial killer who records his killings to upload on the Internet. The videos catch the eye of Bayu Aditya, a low level Indonesian reporter who has issues of his own. Having separated from his wife Dina, Bayu wants to prove that Dharma, a respected politician, is actually corrupt but when he confronts him, he gets beaten up by his men.

Meanwhile, Nomura meets Hisae, a young florist with an autistic younger brother. When he tells her to consider having her brother killed due to his harsh life, Hisae tells Nomura to leave. Feeling somewhat sorry, Nomura somewhat bonds with Hisae’s brother. Meanwhile, when Bayu and a masked Nomura meet face to face on a video call, it becomes apparent that Bayu wants to kill to get to Dharma and asks for Nomura’s advice. When Bayu begins his quest for “justice”, Nomura on the other hand, continues to search for victims of his own to kill. Soon, the bond between killers is strained and a fateful showdown in the most brutal of ways between Nomura and Bayu is bound to be set.

An Indonesian-Japanese co-production, this is a very intriguing brutal film that takes on a whole new meaning of both “a bond between brothers” and the cat-and-mouse game genre of films. One of the film’s executive producers is none other than Gareth Huw Evans, who is best known for directing the amazing Indonesian action film series THE RAID. The script, by Takuji Ushiyama and Timo Tjahjanto, combines the individual stories of Nomura and Bayu an then meshes them quite well through first their video calls and then of course, their climactic showdown.

The film’s driven by the performances of lead actors Kazuya Kitamura and Oka Ankara as the Japanese sociopath and disgraced Indonesian reporter turned killer. It is clear that while they have both the will to kill, they do have opposite agendas. Kitamura’s Nomura kills basically for kicks that had begun after he felt he lost a loved one while Ankara’s Bayu seeks the means to get revenge and expose a very dangerous politician whose motives prove to be deadlier than expected.

It is apparent that The Raid villain Ray Sahetapy perfectly fits the role of the evil Dharma on the Indonesian side. Former Super Sentai actress Rin Takanashi, who had broken through just a few years ago with her star-making role in Like Someone in Love, plays the only girl who not only has no idea who Nomura really is, but even Nomura seems somewhat compelled not to off her due to the fact she had already been scared by him. When she does discover his real nature, it obviously doesn’t go well.

The climatic showdown takes quite an unexpected twist that at first, makes one question what and how a certain thing happened. However, when everything is revealed, it becomes a shocking moment that makes this film one of the best serial-killer movies made.

Killers is a great film that is driven by the performances of its lead actors and the climax that starts questioning everything all comes to a head and ends with a shocker.

WFG RATING: A-

DVD/BLU-RAY

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